The biggest nonprofit donors in the country are heavily concentrated in the Northeast, with warm pockets around cities such as Chicago, Miami, Denver and Los Angeles.
Youth from Hopeworks ‘N Camden illustrated these conclusions via two heat maps: Donor management company DonorPerfect, which reportedly supports over 50,000 monthly users, provided the local education nonprofit with data for the maps, one of which shows the distribution of donors across the country. The second map shows the same information, but it’s layered with the country’s 2016 per capita income.
On Monday, Luis Olivieri, Hopeworks’ Geographic Information Systems (GIS) director, presented the heat maps at DonorPerfect’s Community Network Conference hosted at the Pennsylvania Convention Center earlier this week. DonorPerfect helps nonprofits across the country fundraise, host events and increase donor retention.
Olivieri said conference attendees were impressed by Hopeworks students’ GIS skills, adding that the nonprofit has again “proven that we are really that talented of an organization.”
Hopeworks ED Dan Rhoton said the nonprofit consistently produces work competitive with professionals. In this case, Hopeworks was challenged with a quick turnaround, as DonorPerfect reached out only about three weeks ago.
“All too often, people hear that our products are made by young people, and they assume that they’re going to get an inferior product,” Rhoton said. “In fact, they get a product that often exceeds industry specs because they’re able to have young people that are much more dedicated to this. … Our partnership with DonorPerfect is another example of this.”
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Using skills similar to presenting data with GIS is “like breathing air now,” Olivieri said: “It’s undeniably valuable.”
Alex Collavo has been a GIS intern at Hopeworks for about three months. She didn’t directly assist with the DonorPerfect maps, but said spending time there — including work on an ongoing project for New Jersey American Water — has built her organizational skills. The team at Hopeworks has also made products illustrating food insecurity and educational outcomes in Camden.
Collavo, who worked in retail prior to Hopeworks, said learning GIS was new territory for her. She said the nonprofit encouraged her while she adopted these skills, and now support from Hopeworks is helping her return to school at Camden County College. She hopes to be a pediatric nurse or teacher.
Being at Hopeworks has “definitely shaped my path and my overall thinking,” she said. “They’ve helped me get back to back into school. They’ve given me the motivation, the support. … They’ve just been there every step of the way to give me everything that I need to get started in my career.”-30-
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